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Raiders minicamp news, notes

News, notes and quotes from the first day of the Raiders’ mandatory minicamp Friday:

– Coach Tom Cable acknowledged things went much smoother than they did a year ago, when the first minicamp practice was punctuated by fumbled snapped, dropped passes, and disorganization.

“We had two weeks before we did that minicamp, there was kind of a lull in there and that was a reason for doing it right after the draft,’’ Cable said. “I think it’s reflected in that the ball’s not on the round and we don’t look like the Keystone Cops out there.’’

– Whose who didn’t practice included quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, whose left arm is in a sling after pectoral surgery, wide receiver Chaz Schilens, dealing with general soreness, and wide receiver/return specialist Nick Miller, who has shin splints.

Miller was troubled by shin splints last year, only to later have it called a broken fibula. He spent 16 weeks inactive on game day while still on the 53-man roster.

Linebacker Ricky Brown is expected to practice once a day as he recovers from ankle surgery.

– Cable said he hoped Richard Seymour’s contract would be finalized this weekend.

“We’re trying to get it done so he’s all ours,’’ Cable said.

– Fullback Oren O’Neal, who never recovered from a serious knee injury in 2008, was waived.

– It was a mixed bag for quarterback Jason Campbell, getting accustomed to his yearly task of learning a new offense.

“I’ve been through about 10 of them, so somewhere along the like I’ve run a lot of these plays, trying to find the rhythm, get used to the guys around me and get back into the groove,’’ Campbell said.

Campbell, under the watchful eye of Willie Brown during his press session much the way Eddie Anderson monitored JaMarcus Russell, backed well off his NFL Network declaration that he considered himself the starting quarterback.

“I’m just here to work. Just here to work, get better every day,’’ Campbell said. “ I’ll let coach Cable make that decision and Mr. Al Davis. My job is to come out here every day and compete, keep working on things and try to improve the offense.’’

When Charles Woodson was a rookie, the Raiders went through the charade of listing him behind James Trapp until well into training camp.

With middle linebacker Rolando McClain, there was no such pretense.

“The day after they drafted me, I called to ask for a playbook and some DVDs to look over,’’ McClain said. “I didn’t waste any time.’’

McClain was flanked by Kamerion Wimbley on the strong side and Trevor Scott on the weak side as the defense played almost exclusively 4-3 for the first practice.

– The first minicamp practice contained little or none of the potentially exotic looks hinted at by Cable at the post-draft press briefing. No surprise, really.

“I was looking at the playbook and there are some things that we didn’t do last year.,’’ Asomugha said. “Like always, it’s a matter of how well we do it at this time of the year and then in the summer as to whether we actually play it. So it’s going to depend on us and then how comfortable the coaches feel.’’

– No longer serving as play-caller and offensive coordinator, Cable found himself with more information than usual following the first practice.

“I had a lot more notes from practice on a broad area of things, from what I saw on special teams and with the DBs, to something with the linebackers,’’ Cable said. “I kind of walked off the field feeling really good about what I saw and was anxious to look at it on film and crosscheck myself.’’

Cable on the quarterback rotation of Charlie Frye, JaMarcus Russell, Jason Campbell and Kyle Boller: “It means nothing. Don’t look anything into that. If you do, you’re wasting ink.’’

Or blog space.

– Fourth-round draft pick Bruce Campbell, who played exclusively on the left side at Maryland, lined up as the right guard with the second team. Cable said putting him at guard will give him more second-team reps.

Third-round pick Jared Veldheer was the second-team left tackle behind Mario Henderson.

“My first time looking at the playbook, I looked at it and the different language and I was like, ‘Wow.’ Now that I actually got a practice under my belt, I was like, OK, it’s not that bad,’’ Campbell said. “It’s just getting used to the game speed and basically staying low on the inside.’’

Campbell had false starts on consecutive plays during one sequence and was in some battles with defensive tackle Chris Cooper that probably went beyond the scope of a “non-contact’’ practice.

– Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, No. 85, looked much smoother catching the ball in drills and in team sessions. He did have two drops, although neither was a particularly easy catch, one over his head and the other at his feet.

– The following undrafted free agents were announced as signed: DE Alex Daniels, DT Kellen Heard, RB Chane Moline, TE John Owens, G Alex Parsons, DB Joey Thomas and RB Manase Tonga.

– Cornerback Stanford Routt signed his first- and third-round tender and practiced with the team.

Check for practice updates on my Twitter account.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • JustWinBaby

    Good read Jerry…

  • No Mas Diamante

    segundo?

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    “Coach Cable”. lol

  • Senior Beeecham

    Look at ol Krappy, posting his nonstop nonsense over on PFT!

    “I don’t know why people blame media for trying to bring info to Raider fans from an organization that refuses to.

    Al Davis as GM is 29-83, not Mike Florio.”

    Incredible!

    I love it!

    RealMaddenReject, are you next to follow your beloved pal Krappy? But of course you are!

  • JB

    Too bad about Oren O’neal. He initially appeared to have a great future in the NFL. Looks like he’s history now.

  • No Mas Diamante

    Second practice under way..

  • DKnight007

    TE John Owens??

    Was that they guy who was a basketball player mainly and they said he has some talent on NFL Network when they talked about players with some draft buzz?

  • No Mas Diamante

    Our two rookie full backs have to step up.

  • JB

    BTW, Barrett Robbins didn’t have a learning disability. He was bi-polar which meands he went 5150 every now & then. Come to think of it, that might be a good trait for an O-lineman every now & then. Just as long as it’s not during SB week.

  • Nnamdi21

    What are the odds Russell’s turned the corner and Davis and Co. just let the media speculate and sh-ite storm just for the free publicity?

    You give them the answer and the stories done. Everyone knows.

    You DON’T tell them and they make up stuff anyways and it goes on and aon.

    Who can believe the amount of press a team with 7 losing season is getting?

  • raiders22

    this post was like a fresh line….
    but im gonna need another soon

    oh and i dislike the idea of campbell at either guard. hes a finesse pass blocker who lacks in the running game. how does this make sense?

  • http://tada Florida Pete

    boooooo yaaaaaa….

    i am ready for some FOOTBALL !!!!

    what ???

    yeah, i know…

    i hate april… may… june…

    july’s a little better…

    august is much better…

    and SEPTEMBER is erection month !!!

    note: if your erection lasts longer than 4 weeks… better start playing with it…

  • Nnamdi21

    Bye Bye Oren. Sorry for the bad luck.

    Means we NEED to get an azz kiggin FB to block!!!

  • Nnamdi21

    No Mas Diamante Says:
    April 30th, 2010 at 4:04 pm
    Our two rookie full backs have to step up.

    ==================

    I wonder about Marcel Reese.

  • http://tada Florida Pete

    Nnamdi21 Says:
    April 30th, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I wonder about Marcel Reese.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    you and his mother are the only ones…

  • JB

    Seems to me that our blocking TE, Tony Stewart, and a FB have a lot in common. Both need to be able to block, both need to be able to catch & both need a little RAC game. Why can’t we use Stewart as a FB when needed. Short of that, just use an OG as a blocking back when needed.

  • Pingback: Tim Kawakami on DHB today - Oakland Raiders Forum | Message Board - Where the Raider Nation lives!

  • Nnamdi21

    JB Says:
    April 30th, 2010 at 4:13 pm
    Seems to me that our blocking TE, Tony Stewart, and a FB have a lot in common. Both need to be able to block, both need to be able to catch & both need a little RAC game. Why can’t we use Stewart as a FB when needed. Short of that, just use an OG as a blocking back when needed.

    =======================

    Stewarts a terrible blocker.

    Watched him in the Steelers win last year. Terrible blocker…he’s the reason our 2 TE sets haven’t worked.

  • M Lonetree

    Florida Pete,

    you got yourself a franchise MLB. the rest is a gravy.

    Dakota thought he got himself a franchise RB. An unflushed terdell is more like it.

    Manmauler Tonga and Chase Moline can easily be better than Oren “never had a chance” and Luke “I was never good enough so I tried something”

  • Ghost2Post

    Are the raiders sporting new jerseys this year?

  • Zymurge

    Edgar Bennett in camp — how perfect is that? He’s the player that I repeatedly compared the career of to DMacs potential in the NFL. Both are really fast guys that can do damage if they have large holes to run through and none of those pesky arms in the way to trip over.

    So far, I’m not looking so visionary. DMac is way behind Bennett’s first two years of production :-(

  • M Lonetree

    Good to hear that B Campbell is ready to hit something, anything, someone, anyone.

  • M Lonetree

    Zymurge,

    Michael.

  • The Big Banana

    “The day after they drafted me, I called to ask for a playbook and some DVDs to look over,’’ McClain said. “I didn’t waste any time.’’
    ====================================================
    Exactly the kind of attitude and dedication we need.

  • JB

    # Nnamdi21 Says:
    April 30th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    JB Says:
    April 30th, 2010 at 4:13 pm
    Seems to me that our blocking TE, Tony Stewart, and a FB have a lot in common. Both need to be able to block, both need to be able to catch & both need a little RAC game. Why can’t we use Stewart as a FB when needed. Short of that, just use an OG as a blocking back when needed.

    =======================

    Stewarts a terrible blocker.

    Watched him in the Steelers win last year. Terrible blocker…he’s the reason our 2 TE sets haven’t worked.
    **********************
    Then I guess we should dump him because we already have 2 TE with great hands. we need a Blocking TE. Again, another dumb question, why not just use an O-lineman lined up as TE when we need a blocking ability?

  • http://tada Florida Pete

    Lonetree…

    still need a DT…

    unless that Heard guy (never heard of him) works out…

  • JT

    LOL: “Candid Cam: Raiders’ Russell stuns world, looks capable of ‘competing’”>/i?

    looks capable of ‘competing’ LOL!!

    - – -

    “The day after they drafted me, I called to ask for a playbook and some DVDs to look over,’’ McClain said. “I didn’t waste any time.’’

    Thats what Im talking about.

  • M Lonetree

    Florida Pete,

    needing Delirium Tremens is like needing a repeat of Kool Kell’s list, it can be done without.

  • http://Noknuckleheads! 909RaiderLifer

    Rookie LB Travis Goethal lined up as Fullback on a handfull of plays.—raiderbeat.com

  • Zymurge

    @Lonetree — yeah, I definitely meant Michael, not Edgar. Too many sports names cramming my failing memory cells.

    The latter was a productive all around back, and not a one-dimensional speed burner. Apologies to Edgar for disparaging his legacy.

  • M Lonetree

    Zymurge,

    you of the incise mind, you of all people fugging that up, you creature! 8)

  • M Lonetree

    I suggested here after the draft that with 116 LBs on the roster that one could easily be shifted to FB. Good to know that someone was paying attention.

  • r0rschach

    Where was Howard? Is he on the way out? :(

  • JB

    # r0rschach Says:
    April 30th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Where was Howard? Is he on the way out? :(
    ***********************
    Not unless he’s being traded. Worst case, he’s a back-up on 1st & 2nd downs but he’ll be part of a nickle package.

  • http://Noknuckleheads! 909RaiderLifer

    ice COLD beer time!

    Take care, all…

  • inonewordraider

    A lot of routine drill stuff so far. DHB drops Boller pass in drills, another semi-tough chance, though

    here we go again

  • FlatoutKrazy

    Quarterbacks starting based on alphabetical order by first name lol

  • JB

    Twitter:
    Talking turkey with Zack Crockett. He likes deep fried. I brine ‘em and smoke ‘em with applewood on a Weber . . .

    And the JR chimed in about Frying Turkey, Southern style…

  • JB

    I think Jerry’s getting tired. His twitters are really weak. Cooking turkeys, and other goofy stuff.

  • RaiderDebo

    Screw JR taking a pay cut. It’s time for all the haters to realize there is a two-man race for the starting QB job in Oakland. And by all accounts, JR is ahead. Bye bye Brucey. Thanks for the ONE good quarter of QB play.

  • inonewordraider

    Jerry Mac at the improv, seriously how the qb’s look? Wr dropping balls, making nice catches? Db’s gettin lost in coverage?

  • Tom cables pimp hand

    One thing i like about coach cable is he doesn’t mess around. If you don’t work hard or perform he will either cut you or put your @ss on the bench. Morrison aaint do his part, caoach cable got rid of him, huff wasn’t performing, he put him on the bench, jamarcus tanks the season, coach cable magically gets al to go along and bench russel, satele wasn’t getting it done, and he put morris in. I like coach cable.

  • RaiderDebo

    6:38 pm Raiders coach Tom Cable on QB JaMarcus Russell’s current weight: “He’s OK right now. He’s been here in the offseason. He’s worked. Let’s not make something out of a ghost here. The kid’s working his tail off. Let’s leave it at that.”
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    From CBSSports.com

    It’s about time he backed JR up in the press!!

  • M Lonetree

    April 30, 2010…the finish line is in January or February 2011…the horses chomping at the bit today ain’t by a long back stretch the one’s who’ll be coming in at the end.

    yes, gotta start somewhere but the intervening 250 days of turns and straightaways will determine wins placing and the show.

  • Tom cables pimp hand

    Screw JR taking a pay cut. It’s time for all the haters to realize there is a two-man race for the starting QB job in Oakland. And by all accounts, JR is ahead. Bye bye Brucey. Thanks for the ONE good quarter of QB play.

    ————————————-

    Myron rolle dropped to the sixth because he was too smart they say… but players like dez bryant and jamarcus russel get picked in the first… which tell me football players aren’t meant to be intelligent. And by looking at your post debo… I think you’d make a great football player, first round talent. Because if you believe in jamarcus russel you’re obviously not that intelligent and fit the bill.lol what a idiot. “thanks brucey for the one good quarter of fb????” More like thanks but no thanks jamarcus for three seasons of bad football, and good riddance.smh

  • M Lonetree

    Oops, the JaManIamTheChosenOne band is striking up a tune.

    Hoorah! Hoorah!

    And it doesn’t appear that the song is “Take the Money and Run”.

  • SharkCatcher

    Jerry Mac really earned his money today. Vicorio Tafur can’t hold your jock strap Jerry!

  • VanHeathen

    Hold the Presses…
    JR actually completed passes w/out any sort of pressure what so ever, wow, what an achievement…start printing the All Pro ballots.
    He SUPPOSED to be completing practice passes to uncovered recievers, it’s sad it’s taken him 4 yrs to get to this point.
    Let’s wait until he’s under some pressure and see how his decision making is then…his decisions last year were, throw and INT, Fumble.

  • M Lonetree

    Yeah, our Fearless Leader JMc divulging turkey recipes. yay.

  • 24

    Whats up with Thomas Howard? I’m guessing hes backing up strong side linebacker to Wimbley?